How-To: Square Floor Cushion


Ever wonder what to do with all the scraps you accumulate when you sew all the time? Why not make a floor cushion? Using scraps makes them heavier and more substantial than if you fill them with stuffing or poly-fill. I always feel guilty throwing fabric away, but I’m not the sort of person who saves every little scrap for a future project. As much as I would love to use all those wonderful little scraps, I have to be realistic. Is it really going to happen? And if so, WHEN? Most of the scraps I produce (especially from garment fabrics, like knits and rayon) don’t really have any potential for reuse.


So I recently took a yard of velveteen (this one is from Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study velveteens), some piping, and a whole bunch of scraps, and made this little floor cushion for the kids. They love it!




I should mention that the original concept for this cushion came from an adorable round floor cushion made by my friend Emily; which she made using a tutorial from Living With Punks (warning: copious amounts of pop-up ads at that link). That version also uses just a yard of fabric, and adds some cute handles on the side to boot!

Here’s a quick how-to for my (square) version:


  • 1 yard of fabric, either 44″ or 54″ wide
  • 4 yards of home decor piping (or make your own with a bag of 6/32″ piping, some 1.25″ wide bias strips, and my piping tutorial)
  • UPDATED: 1.5″ wide is better

  • Bag o’ scraps

Step 1: Take a yard of fabric and cut it into two 18″ squares for the top/bottom of the cushion, and two 12″ wide by 36″ tall strips for the sides. Note that the print of your fabric will run sideways if you use a one-directional print, so you might want to find a non-directional one.


This diagram above shows how you would cut a yard of fabric to get the pieces you need; the part with the red X is not used.


Step 2: Trim the corners of your squares (but NOT the side strips) so that they are curved. You might want to use a small juice glass to help you draw the curve first.


Step 3: Sew your piping around the edges of the top and bottom squares, keeping the edges of the piping even with the edge of the squares, sewing as close to the piping cord as you possibly can (a zipper foot and adjusting needle position to the left may help), and overlapping the ends of the piping when you get back to where you started. To overlap the ends, unpick the stitches in the piping and trim away the cord for the last inch or so on one end, so that you have a little piece of fabric to fold over the other end.


Step 4: DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Clip into the seam allowance of your piping around the corners of the squares.



Step 5: Sew the short ends of your two side strips together with a 3/8″ seam, leaving a 4-5″ hole in one side so you can stuff your cushion later. We’ll call this piece the “side loop” from here on out.




Step 6: Pin the top square to the side loop with right sides and raw edges together. It helps to pin the end seams at the corners first, then find the middle of the sides and pin those at the other two corners, then ease in the rest of the edges as you pin them together. Now sew the top and side loop together, with the top square facing up, so you can use the piping stitches as your guide (just sew right over them). Then repeat this for the bottom square and the other end of the side loop.



Step 7: Turn your cushion right side out (through the hole) and START STUFFIN BABY.


Here’s my bag o’ scraps. I keep one trash can in my sewing room for “fabric trash.” I almost have enough already for another cushion!!!


Step 8: Once your cushion is full, hand-stitch the opening shut with buttonhole or topstitching thread. Basically, a stronger thread will be more likely to hold up over time. You can also try doubling up machine thread, but make your stitches smaller so that your seam is extra strong.


Voila! Beautiful cushion!!!

39 thoughts on “How-To: Square Floor Cushion

  1. Adorable project. My kids have a floor cushion/poofe thing with beans in and I’m afraid its going to burst soon so what an idea to replace it with something like this. I just donated a whole big bag of scraps to my son’s daycare centre – time to start collecting again!

  2. I was just thinking i needed to make another one of these! A square one is perfect. I made a circular one before and put a zipper on the side panel. The scrap idea is awesome! Im going to do this one with a zipper too so i can have access to the scraps! Thanks Rae!

  3. Super idea! I have a lot of old “fabric trash” and the Cushion is THE way to re-use them…thankx for sharing!

  4. I have a huge bag full of tiny scraps which needs rehoming – I just wish I had some delicious velveteen for the rest of the project! thanks for the tutorial

  5. i have been throwing most of my scraps away because i hate clutter and figured i’d never find a good use…but i also hate waste! this is awesome!

  6. Cool idea! I would incorporate a zipper so that I could still access the scraps for future projects. Or use the pillows as functional/decorative fabric storage!! :-)

  7. What a cute project.I’m going to add a zipper to the opening. That way I won’t have to sew it up and I can add more stuffing if it flattens down.

  8. This is brilliant because I am constantly throwing away scraps. I WANT to keep them because I feel wasteful, but I know they’ll never be used. I’m going to start saving them now 😉

  9. Love this! I don’t have enough fabric scraps but I do have old t-shirts and baby onesies I was going to scrap… I can rough cut them down for the same purpose! :)

    • Save your t-shirts for a t-shirt quilt or blanket. Your kids will love it. Just Google t-shirt quilts and you will find lots of info.

  10. Great idea! I’ve always thought, there’s got to be a use for all my small scrapes. Can’t wait to make 1 of these.

  11. hey thanks for this tutorial – i just made one, it’s awesome! about the piping – i found that the bias strips needed to be 1.5″ wide to accommodate the 6/32″ piping and still get a 3/8″ seam allowance. does that sound right?

  12. Love it and need to make one!

    Quick question: do you think I could make the bottom panel with overlapping pieces so I can stuff/unstuff the cushion? I’m thinking of storing the kids’ stuffies in the cushio and I’m afraid of sewing zippers.


    • Hi Mikey — that would probably work, but you’ll have to secure the flap somehow to prevent the stuffies from falling out. Maybe a strip of velcro?

  13. If your fabric is 54″ wide (or more), you can accommodate a directional print by cutting the side panels going lengthwise instead of up and down! :)

  14. I saw a vintage scrap bin online once and thought what a great idea it looked cone shaped and could be removed from base to empty .I would just empty right into floor pillows dog cushions etc.

  15. I just made one this afternoon, and feel rather pleased with myself. Not only did I clean out a giant box of scraps taking up room in the closet, but I created a fun birthday gift for my soon to be 4-year old. :) I did add a zipper in one of the side seams so I can dig in for scraps if I feel so inclined. Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  16. This is great! I’m thinking of extending the sides to be 18″. So it would be more of a big square… Is it possible to do this without the piping? I just want a clean shape.

  17. This is such a great tutorial! Question: If I wanted to make a mega-giant floor cushion, could I double all measurements and use 2 yards? As in, two 36″ squares and two 24″x36″ strips? My sewing math has never been good… Your thoughts?

  18. Hey lovely cushion. Did you mix cotton scraps and poly fabric scraps when you made this ?
    Also do you think if we use cotton filling the pillow would be of same weight as using cotton fabric scraps.
    Do let me know.

  19. thanks for the tutorial! I made my own circle pattern for these last year and added a zipper. Love the square look. I will be adding a zipper somewhere and stuffing this with stuffed animals for multi-use! Any recommendations for where to put the zipper? On a long side?

  20. Just found this wonderful tutorial. I’ve done this in miniature in the past to make my own pin cushions that won’t roll away, but never thought to expand to floor size! I plan to make one of these ASAP with a zipper for my over-flowing stash of knitting yarn. Thanks for doing the tutorial with pix.

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